AAPC Denounces Claimed AI-Generated Robocall Incident

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 27, 2024

 

AAPC Denounces Claimed AI-Generated Robocall Incident

 

 

McLean, VA – In light of the recent revelation involving a political operative’s commissioning of an allegedly deceptive AI-generated robocall impersonating President Joe Biden, we feel compelled to express our profound concern and condemnation if these facts are verified. This alleged act, leveraging artificial intelligence to fabricate a misleading communication for political gain, stands in stark opposition to the principles of honesty and integrity that are fundamental to our democratic process. The claims involved in this incident blatantly contravene the dedication to integrity that the AAPC upholds, posing a significant threat to the trust inherent in our democratic electoral processes.In a solid stance against such deceptive practices, the AAPC aligns with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent declaratory ruling against robocalls made with synthetic AI-generated voices. This alignment underscores our unwavering commitment to promoting ethical conduct within political consulting and campaigning. The AAPC and FCC’s shared perspective highlights the critical importance of maintaining honesty and transparency in political communication, ensuring the electoral process remains untainted by the misleading use of technology.

We call upon all members of the political consulting community to rigorously adhere to the AAPC’s Professional Code of Ethics and stance against the use of deceptive AI in political campaigns, reinforcing our collective responsibility to foster a political environment characterized by truthfulness and respect for the electorate.

 

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About AAPC

Founded in 1969, the AAPC is a multi-partisan organization of political and public affairs professionals dedicated to advancing the field of political consulting and promoting ethical practices within the industry. We are committed to fostering a political landscape driven by integrity and transparency. AAPC members are required to adhere to its Professional Code of Ethics. The AAPC has over 1,800 members hailing from all corners of the globe. It is the largest association of political and public affairs professionals in the world. For more information about the AAPC and our Code of Ethics please visit www.theaapc.org.

 

Contact:
Alana Joyce
Executive Director
+1 703-245-8021
[email protected]

AAPC Supports FCC’s Historic Ruling Against AI-Generated Voice Robocalls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 13, 2024

 

AAPC Supports FCC’s Historic Ruling Against AI-Generated Voice Robocalls

 

McLean, VA – The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC), the nation’s premier organization for political consulting professionals, expresses its strong support for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent declaratory ruling against robocalls made with synthetic AI-generated voices. This important clarification underscores the FCC’s commitment to protecting consumers and upholding the integrity of communication within our democracy.
The FCC’s ruling, which identifies AI-generated voice calls as “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), aligns with the AAPC’s Code of Ethics, which emphasizes honesty, integrity, and respect for the democratic process. The AAPC believes that this decision is a significant step forward in combating the misleading use of technology in political communication and ensures that political consulting practices remain respectful and lawful.
“The AAPC stands firmly against any practice that undermines the public’s trust in the political process,” said Larry Huynh, President, AAPC. “The FCC’s ruling against AI-generated voice robocalls is a victory for integrity in political communications. It reflects our Code of Ethics’ core values by ensuring that political outreach does not mislead the electorate.”
The AAPC commends the FCC for providing state attorneys general with new tools to pursue entities behind potentially misleading robocalls. This ruling not only protects consumers from potentially misleading communications but also supports the AAPC’s ongoing efforts to promote ethical standards within the political consulting industry.
“We encourage all political consultants to review their practices in light of this ruling and to continue striving for the highest ethical standards in all their communications,” added Kyle Roberts, Vice President, AAPC. “Together, we can maintain the trust and respect within the consulting community.”

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About AAPC

Founded in 1969, the AAPC is a multi-partisan organization of political and public affairs professionals dedicated to advancing the field of political consulting and promoting ethical practices within the industry. We are committed to fostering a political landscape driven by integrity and transparency. AAPC members are required to adhere to its Professional Code of Ethics. The AAPC has over 1,800 members hailing from all corners of the globe. It is the largest association of political and public affairs professionals in the world. For more information about the AAPC and our Code of Ethics please visit www.theaapc.org.

 

Contact:
Alana Joyce
Executive Director
+1 703-245-8021
[email protected]

AAPC Foundation 2024 Summer Internship Program

The AAPC Foundation’s Internship Program provides rising seniors and recent college graduates interested in entering the field of politics an opportunity to gain professional work experience with AAPC member firms that are leaders in the fields of political consulting and public affairs.

The 2024 Summer paid internship program will be held from June 3, 2024 to August 5, 2024. Summer interns will work full-time only, no more than 40 hours per week, for a total stipend of $6,000 provided by the AAPC Foundation.

View the AAPC Internship Program page to learn more about our available positions!

AAPC is Growing!

Join our growing, fiercely talented team and advance your career in non-profit Association management and the exciting, fast-paced field of politics. Together, we can drive positive change and elevate the standards and influence of the political consulting industry.

View the AAPC Careers page to learn more about our available positions!

AAPC Applauds U.S. House of Representatives for Upholding Ethics in Expulsion of George Santos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 1, 2023

 

American Association of Political Consultants Applauds U.S. House of Representatives for Upholding Ethics in Expulsion of George Santos

 

McLean, VA – The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) commends the United States House of Representatives for their decisive action in expelling Representative George Santos. This move, marked by bipartisan support, underscores the commitment of our nation’s lawmakers to uphold the highest standards of integrity and accountability in public service.

“The expulsion of George Santos from Congress is a significant step in reaffirming the core values of our political system,” said Larry Huynh, President of the AAPC. “Ethics and honesty are paramount in public office, and the AAPC stands firmly behind actions that reinforce these principles.”

Santos, whose tenure in Congress has been marred by controversy and allegations of falsehoods, was expelled following a thorough investigation by the House Ethics Committee. This decision serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of truthfulness and ethical conduct in the political arena.

“As political consultants, we strive to enhance the democratic process by promoting transparency and integrity among consultants and elected officials,” added Kyle Roberts, Vice President of AAPC. “Congress’s action in this matter aligns with our mission to foster an environment where truth and accountability are non-negotiable.”

The AAPC believes that the expulsion of Santos will serve as a deterrent to future misconduct and reinforce the public’s trust in their elected representatives. We remain committed to supporting measures that strengthen the ethical framework of our political system and ensure that those in public office adhere to the highest standards of conduct.

 

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About AAPC

Founded in 1969, the AAPC is a multi-partisan organization of political and public affairs professionals dedicated to improving democracy. The AAPC has more than 1,600 members hailing from all corners of the globe. The Board of Directors is comprised of thirty-two members, evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. It is the largest association of political and public affairs professionals in the world. The AAPC Foundation supports efforts to protect free speech, defend democracy, and prepare the next generation of political consultants to thrive. For more information, see www.theaapc.org.

 

Contact:
Alana Joyce
Executive Director
+1 703-245-8021
[email protected]

Save the Date: Southern Regional Conference

The 2024 Pollie Contest is Now Open!

API Voters: The Rising Political Force – Insights from Bill Wong

Bill Wong is an award winning political consultant with over 30 years of experience working for state legislators, candidates, political action committees, labor organizations, non-profit organizations, and large scale employers.

By: Bill Wong, Bill Wong LLC

An often misunderstood and overlooked voting bloc, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, includes East Asians, Southeast Asians, South Asians, Central Asians, and the indigenous peoples of islands in the Pacific Ocean and far northern coasts of the Arctic Sea.  This community has become the margin of victory in the last two cycles in some of the most hard-fought campaigns in the nation. Nowhere is the API community more diverse and numerically significant than in California.  California has the highest API population, with nearly 7 million Asian Americans.  The state second to California – New York – has only 1.8 million Asian Americans.  Both will be home to battleground races in 2024 that could decide control of the United States Congress.

 

In California, 2.3 million of the APIs are registered voters.  Immediately prior to election day in 2022, API voters had the highest turnout of all major ethnic groups at 24%, beating African American and Latino voters that came in at 21% and 13% respectively. Gone are the days that API voters can be ignored. There’s a passage in my book describing a presentation by John Podesta for Hillary 2016 that I walked out of because they had polling slides for every ethnic group except APIs.  I think that day was an omen to what happens to campaigns that ignore the emergent political power and impact of API voters.

 

Thankfully, AAPC recognizes this changing dynamic as well and has assembled a tremendous line up of Asian American voices today, including: Alex De Ocampo, Cal & D Strategies; Ron Wong, CEO of Imprenta Communications; Catherine Lew, Founder of Lew Edwards Group; Christine Mai Duc, Wall Street Journal; and, Larry Huynh, Founder of Trilogy Interactive and President of AAPC. While most of them are here to talk about general topics and not specifically about API voters, they intrinsically have unique and unparalleled insights into reaching API voters and you should consider reaching out to them.

 

I want to specifically single out Larry’s contribution to the craft and profession of political campaign consulting.  Larry is a nationally recognized digital strategist and his work has earned dozens of awards across multiple online disciplines and he is a frequent presenter and trainer at conferences. Larry is also a trailblazer for the API community and the first person of color and first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as president of the AAPC. He has supported the API candidates and served on API community non-profit boards.  His advice and leadership have been essential in the growth of API political and civic power. More importantly, Larry is the envy of APIs everywhere because he graduated from Harvard and still found a way to pursue a successful and fulfilling career without having to become a doctor or a lawyer.

 

As an API consultant attending numerous conferences like the ones AAPC puts on, I can’t tell you how important and impactful it was for me to see Larry’s name and face on the agenda alongside some of the greatest consultants in our business. It made me proud to be an Asian American and it inspired me to stick with this profession through difficult times and to work harder at mastering the craft. 

 

Deadline Political Editor Discusses How Culture, Politics and Blockbusters Collide

By: Ted Johnson, Deadline Hollywood

Most moviegoers went to this year’s biggest blockbuster Barbie and came away pleased by its quirky entertainment, but in the weeks up to its release, there was a simmering battle over what the movie meant to the cultural zeitgeist. Warner Bros. Discovery threw a lavish pre-screening party at the British ambassador’s residence, all designed to highlight what the movie said about women’s empowerment. Contrast that to Ben Shapiro, the founder of the conservative site The Daily Wire, posted videos of himself burning Barbies after watching the movie, which he deemed too “woke.” Studios, networks and streamers have come to rely on social media and high profile word-of-mouth as they market their projects, but they also have to factor in the very real possibility of backlash, as so much of culture gets weaponized.

Capitalizing on the attention that comes from Hollywood and the hundreds of millions poured into a marketing push, political figures, pundits and podcast hosts try to influence public taste for movies and TV shows, to their advantage and their detriment.The campaign against Barbie didn’t hurt its ticket sales, as Warner Bros. Discovery fired on all cylinders to make sure that the movie had strong awareness and a blockbuster opening.

At the same time, Shapiro’s campaign against it translated into millions of views on Twitter and YouTube, while perhaps calling attention to his own ambitions for his company’s efforts to go beyond politics into entertainment content. This effort to tap pop culture for partisan gain is not new.  Flash back more than 30 years to Vice President Dan Quayle’s attack on Murphy Brown, giving birth as a single mother, “mocking the importance of fathers.”

In the midst of a presidential campaign, it helped solidify Quayle’s status as a figure who could appeal to the right. The show itself capitalized on the controversy, to the tune of blockbuster ratings.The difference now is the frequency and intensity, spread on YouTube, TikTok and Twitter, that can have an actual impact on a portion of the audience.

Other projects have suffered. Five years ago, Universal released First Man, about the life of Neil Armstrong. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and others on the right stirred a campaign against it because it did not feature the iconic close up shot of Armstrong planting the flag on the lunar surface, triggering the idea that the move was somehow un-American. Despite strong reviews and a launch event at the National Air and Space Museum, the movie proved to be a box office disappointment. The absence of the flag was not the only reason for this, but studio executives privately fretted that it certainly did not help. In other cases, artists capitalized on the negative attention. After an outcry over his Try That In A Small Town, with Country Music Television pulling the song, Jason Aldean fueled a backlash that helped solidify it as a hit.

As Hollywood studios try to manage the downsides, political figures who wade into pop culture also risk getting mired in a battle with an uncertain endgame. Ron DeSantis initially made Disney part of his presidential campaign, accusing the company of supporting the sexualization of minors after it came out against his parental rights legislation, known to its detractors as the “don’t say gay” law. But his attacks have gotten mired in the courts, in a rather complicated battle over a special district that covers Walt Disney World. As his chief rival Donald Trump expanded his lead, DeSantis said that he had “moved on” from the fight.

In the coming months, Hollywood will be in the spotlight as a congressional committee turns its attention to studio relationships with China, adding additional scrutiny to whether movies have been tailored to ensure entry into the country’s marketplace. Inevitably, some other studio release this year will become a target. You can be sure plenty will be scrutinized with Warner Bros. Discovery’s next big release, Wonka. And as the rhetoric heats up, studios will have to be ever more sophisticated in countering the drummed up controversies.

Stop California SB 362 – The Delete Act

California SB 362, known as the Delete Act, would negatively impact access to data for political campaigns. The bill would create a portal via the California Privacy Protection Agency’s website for residents to remove all personal data from all data brokers registered with the state. The bill is up for a vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and we ask that you reach out to members you know and ask them to NOT advance the bill.

Concerns with California SB 362:

  • Impact on Political and Public Awareness Campaigns and Voter Outreach: Data brokers are crucial for political campaigns to reach constituents, drive turnout, and for fundraising. The bill’s deletion requirements would hinder campaign strategies and reduce voter engagement, especially reaching younger and diverse voters.
  • Unnecessary and Confusing Duplication: CCPA already applies to data brokers, and there are no gaps in California’s privacy law. The bill would create unnecessary duplication of regulations and compliance efforts negatively impacting small businesses.

These are just a couple of many concerns with CA SB 362. We ask that you reach out to the committee members listed below and ask them to NOT advance SB 362 and hold the bill for further study and review

Take Action:
Below is a sample email you can use to reach out to State Assembly Committee on Appropriations Members.

Thank you for your commitment to our industry principles and ensuring the strength of our democratic process,

Robyn Matthews
Director, Advocacy and Industry Relations
405.249.8286


Committee on Appropriations Members:

Chris Holden (Chair), Dem – 41
Megan Dahle (Vice Chair), Rep – 1
Isaac Bryan, Dem – 55
Lisa Calderon, Dem – 56
Wendy Carrillo, Dem – 52
Diane Dixon, Rep – 72
Mike Fong, Dem – 49
Gregg Hart, Dem – 37
Josh Lowenthal, Dem – 69
Devon Mathis, Rep – 33
Diane Papan, Dem – 21
Gail Pellerin, Dem – 28
Kate A. Sanchez, Rep – 71
Esmeralda Soria, Dem – 27
Akilah Weber, M.D., Dem – 79
Lori Wilson, Dem – 11


Sample Email:

Subject: Vote NO on SB 362

Dear Assemblymember [Name]:

As a steward of data in political campaigns, I ask that you vote to NOT advance SB 362. SB 362 will negatively impact political and public awareness campaigns.

While privacy is a critical consideration, SB 362’s provisions could inadvertently hinder our ability to effectively engage with voters and carry out successful political campaigns. Specifically, I worry about its potential impact on voter education and participation, particularly among younger and diverse demographics.

Our campaigns rely on data brokers to reach constituents, encourage voter turnout, and facilitate fundraising. SB 362’s requirements to remove personal data could limit the reach of our campaign messaging, ultimately diminishing public participation and weakening the democratic process.

Additionally, these deletion previsions already exist within the current CCPA. SB 362 introduces unnecessary redundancy and complicates compliance efforts for small businesses, without addressing any gaps in privacy law.

Given these concerns, I respectfully ask that you oppose the advancement of SB 362 and consider holding the bill for further study and review.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

[Your Name]
[Your Title/Company]
[Your Contact Information]